Interview Tech Tips

Once you have chosen your location and you’ve set up your frame and audio, is there anything left besides just conducting the interview? Well, there are three more things that you should keep in mind during the interview. 

Tip 1

Check Twice, Record Once

Does your subject sound good? Do you like the lighting? Does the plant that you moved into the frame to enhance your background really work? These are all questions that have a funny way of popping up after you’ve hit the record button and started the interview. Instead of feeling worse and worse because you just noticed after the first question that the lighting is reflecting in the subject’s glasses and you don’t feel like you can stop the interview to fix it (totally hypothetical scenario, this has never happened to me), here’s a checklist that you can check twice before hitting that record button.

  • Lighting: Does it look good on the subject when they are looking in the direction they will be looking for the interview?
  • Sound: Does the subject sound good? You may need to record a bit and play it back to listen if you’re using your phone. How does the room sound? Any weird noises when you and the subject are quiet?
  • Frame: Does the frame look good? Does anything need to change?
  • Subject: How does the subject look? Do you need to fix a collar or a strand of hair or grab a piece of lint? Does the subject need a bit of powder?

Once you’ve done these four things, then you can hit record and start the interview. 

Tip 2

Never be afraid to pause the interview

It is so tempting to try to ignore a noise or someone in the background. Especially if your subject is on a roll. But if that weird sound or the background disturbance makes that clip unusable, then just pause the interview as politely as you can and start over after the disruption is gone. 

You might be able to ignore something in the moment, but that doesn’t mean that the viewer will be able to ignore it during the video. Trust us, you’ll be happy you reasked that question!

Tip 3

You have more time than you think you do

Do not rush. This is the cardinal mistake that most newbies make over and over, and they pay for it in the edit. Rushing during any part of production will make you miss things that later you need to fix as best you can in the edit; this is especially true during interviews. If the framing is off or the interview subject had something on their shirt that looks bad, now you’ll need to figure out how to keep the audio content — the important stuff — without using the visual. This normally means that you end up spending hours of additional work in the edit attempting to fix that original mistake. 

So, rather than do all that extra work, just move a bit more slowly during the process. The person you’re interviewing is more understanding than you think. Just remember that they want to look and sound their best, too!